Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. 7 Things you Must Know for Success

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. The 7 Most Neglected Hacks Affiliates fail at.

Editorial. Some links in this are affiliate links from which I may receive a small commission.

Hello entrepreneur and welcome,

Is there a future in affiliate marketing?

Is affiliate Marketing dead? Below are the 7 most neglected hacks affiliates fail at. It is the reason so many people throw the towel in on their dreams.

This is a shame because they have turned their back on an amazingly, powerful life-changing opportunity, possibly to stay with the tried and true wage slave 9-5 or 6-6 position they know so well.

They didn’t devote the time needed to master the basic hacks I detail, and show how to master them below. Neglecting the opportunity to learn something different that could earn them passive income.

As for the other commonly asked question: Is Affiliate Marketing still Worth it,?

If you become involved and treat it as a serious business, either as a side hustle, or full-time enterprise then, Yes it is a great opportunity to earn decent amounts of money. Even while you sleep.

“How much money”, I hear you ask.

“It depends.” 

Every new business requires more effort at the beginning, then – if you have implemented the process properly, you will reap a bountiful harvest.

In this article, I will cover…

  • Selecting a niche
  • Domain name choices
  • Selecting affiliate products and monetarization
  • Website authority
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Blogging Strategies

Some Challenges faced by Affiliate Businesses.

By Affiliate businesses, I mean those companies that use affiliate marketers to promote their products. They operate in a regulated environment, so, there are rules for you too.

  • Governments adding more rules on Privacy Issues
  • More Competition. Covid shut down and restrictions has forced companies to seek sales alternatives
  • Increased costs. The costs of operating offline for many businesses have forced them to look at online alternatives.

Privacy issues introduced in some countries have really impacted big tech. Google and Social media for instance.

This changes the rules for businesses (this includes you as a publisher), to promote themselves online. Because of all this, companies have had to change their rules.

It is a top-down effect that has been happening, and the businesses you become involved with will keep you informed of any changes as they happen.

Generally, though, the effect on affiliates is minimal.

If you are into any sort of online enterprise, be sure to keep good financial records, the same as you would in an offline enterprise.

The last thing you need is problems with your government.

The downside, as some people are saying, the digital space is more crowded than ever, and everyone is looking for attention. But, and this is not often mentioned

More competition is not necessarily a bad thing, For the publisher (you), it means better support, longer cookie life, and in some cases better commissions.

Many of those now coming online are only doing so because they now have access.

This should be attractive to businesses, because they have a growing audience to market to, and so do You.

As an affiliate marketer, you should be embracing a larger audience to pitch your company’s products to.

Is Affiliate Marketing Easy

Money falling from the sky around a well dressed guy pumping the air, and holding a tablet. Used in the article Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. 7 Things you Must Know for Success
Money falling from the sky.

Unlike dropshipping, which I write about quite extensively on this site, affiliate marketing differs, not only for the minimal investment to get started but also because of the increasing opportunities becoming available, due to many more businesses wanting their products promoted online.

The start-up cost can vary from zero to a couple of thousand of dollars.

You don’t need to worry about customer service, because you are only advertising the product for an individual or company.

The benefit that attracts people to affiliate marketing is, that done properly, it is a means of building a passive income.

There are however, some hurdles to jump over before you even consider building a website.

Let’s take a look.

  • Picking a niche. This is a big stumbling block for many people.
  • Define your specialty, and break your niche down to a specific area.
  • Understand the product you’re promoting.
  • Understand your customer. Who are you promoting to?

There is a process, and a learning curve some people may find easy, and some may struggle.

It is easier than other online businesses once you understand the process. But sticking with the process, and being consistent are the two biggest stumbling blocks for many people.

Selecting a Niche.

3 Dice in a shelf used in the article, Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. 7 Things you Must Know for Success
Toss of the Dice

You can make this as hard or as easy as you want.

Get it right and you are on the road to success, get it wrong… well no big deal, understand your mistake and start again.

Very few affiliates succeed from promoting random, non-related products. So defining a specialization is the right affiliate marketing strategy to set yourself apart from the pack of competitors


Let’s face it, no one (I know of anyway), started making money right out of the gate with this.

As far as affiliate marketing strategies go, finding a niche is the first and most important step for any digital entrepreneur.

Many people agonize over it, and then give up when confronting this obstacle. Essentially giving up before they get to first base!

The idea is to start broad, and then narrow down to one viable niche, within a particular field or industry.

You can approach this by focusing on your own interests, or passions, and investigating the products you like.

What pain points have you experienced as a consumer?.

What about your friends, have they told you about something that helped you?

You need to not think about yourself ( I know, it sounds contradictory to the above sentences), but think about who would find your experience useful.

Is there a problem your future clients can solve with the product you wish to promote?

Think along the lines of… This product could help people with__________________________________?

Now, you need to find out how popular your niche is.

Let’s Do Personal Growth

Make the first port of call, Google Trends. The Chart below is for Personal Growth.

As you can see, it ticks along at a reasonably high rate of interest for most of the year.

A Google trend chart for personal growth, used in the article, Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. 7 Things you Must Know for Success
Google trends chart of interest in Personal growth.

Personal growth is broad, to break it down it might look something like:- Relationships, Soul, Mind, Life Vision, Money, Performance, Work, and Entrepreneurship.

Perhaps you already have some program you intend to use. Let’s look at Relationships on Google trends.

Chart of relationships searches in Google trends, used in the article, Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. 7 Things you Must Know for Success
Google trend interest in relationships

Even better… The trend is consistently high, so this is a great start.

From here we can break it down further, Relationships with Spouses, Self, Family relationships, Kids, Elderly people, Friends, and Pets.

So, using Relationships as a keyword, we know there is a lot of consistent interest. So it is a good topic to use as the base for a niche, and you can build it out using the other subjects I have mentioned above.

**Ideally, this should all be done before you even start to set up a website.

Now you need to come up with a domain name for your website.

There are lots of places you can look up domain names, Bluehost, Go Daddy, and a stack of other places, or you can search on Jaaxy, which will give you 30 free searches for nothing.

A domain name doesn’t have to reflect the topic, it could be your name, or something catchy and easy to remember.

Where to Find Affiliate Products and Monetization Opportunities.

This should not be too hard, again do a Google search, and look for affiliate products in whatever your niche is.

The goal here is to find products that will be valuable to your target audience.

Niche-like relationships would most likely include books, courses, and possibly some products.

Logos of Big affiliate businesses. Used in the article Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. 7 Things you Must Know for Success

I have been using one niche as an example above, but there are numerous affiliate networks and individual companies you can work with.

If you’re not sure which ones offer you the greatest potential for making the most money …

Think of the industries that have grown, and made a shift to the e-commerce sector.

Now, this is important. You want a product that has some popularity. If you want to sell an Amazon product, look for one that has lots of reviews, like about 5,000 or more.

There is a method here, trust me, I will get to it in a second.

The Niche I used as an example “Relationships,” might be a book. If that is the case, make sure it has plenty of good reviews. No product is perfect, so expect some negative feedback.

If it is a course, Like this one, then the fact that it is sold on an affiliate network site, almost guarantees it is popular. Because products on affiliate network sites need (generally), a certain amount of turnover before the affiliate network accepts those businesses.

You might ask why a product needs lots of good reviews. My answer is “What if you went to a site to buy something, and you were going to be the first one to buy it?”

People need confirmation that what they are buying is going to work for them. So, if there are say, 5,000 previous buyers and a 4+ star rating, I think they will feel confident purchasing.

Your next question might be, “There is too much competition?”

The way around this is to have an understanding of SEO, which I will touch on further down.

Affiliate Networks

Sometimes, depending on what you want to promote, Affiliate Networks can be a double edged sword.

Because many affiliate networks/business (Amazon for eg), like to see your website having some activity, or some authority in your niche before they approve you.

This is understandable, all they are doing is looking for websites that have some traffic.

Some places to look include reputable affiliate networks, such as Awin, Share a Sale, Rakuten, MaxBounty, or branded affiliate programs from eBay, SkillShare, Amazon, or Shopify.

Some people were turned off by Amazon slashing their commissions early last year. So, is amazon affiliate marketing dead?

No, people still make money selling higher-end products.

You can find hundreds more affiliate businesses at this link

Website Authority and SEO.

Another obstacle to overcome. If you don’t have a product to promote, put out content on your niche using your experiences. So long as stay relevant to your niche you will get some authority for your website.

  • Build out your new website with some content where people can get to know you. (Build trust).
  • Don’t be “salesy”, the intent is to help others. Use your experiences.
  • Research:- You can search what real people are asking, as in Questions, Prepositions, and Comparisons to the past.
  • Writing thorough research-based articles will also build trust.

You may have heard the term “Content is King” when it comes to affiliate marketing.

This is one evergreen fact that will never change.

What sort of content should you write? Something that attracts targeted traffic, product reviews, create rankings and lists, and guides, this all builds out your site and builds your authority.

Essentially you are writing more informational posts so that you do not sound so salesy to Google. Offer solutions to problems, a detailed analysis review post for your visitors, to let them make an informed decision, whether to go click your links and go purchase the focused item you proposed to solve their issue.

Abie & AJ

This does not mean you have to full on promoting products all the time. It is ok to wander off topic occasionally.

It adds a personal touch and builds trust.

If your still reading this…

You may be wondering, “where the heck do I start.” This is where affiliate marketing becomes a bit of a juggling act.

As well as writing for your “potential customer” you also have to write for Google.

By that I mean you use keywords that are relevant to the topic (easy enough), but also, you want those keywords to rank on Google, preferably in the first pages of the Google searches.

Well… you won’t get every post on the first page but, you need to set them up in a way that gives you an excellent chance of doing it.

How do you do this? Start with…

  • Keyword in the title
  • Keyword in the first paragraph
  • Captivating, relevant headings.

Obviously, that is a bit of oversimplified SEO You could do all those things and still finish up on page 321 of the google searches.

I am sure I have some older articles in Google’s graveyard.

SEO is a whole other subject. There are some advanced, but easy-to-understand concepts that many affiliates neglect. Long tail keywords are one very misunderstood SEO tactic.

But I will leave that for another time.

At the end of the day you want to be maximizing organic traffic.

That will get you ahead of the game from the get-go. A little preparation goes a long way in this game.

Social Media

Social media can be a good weapon to increase the amount of organic traffic to your website if you use it to your advantage.

It can be a trap, and I know many people who waste time on social media (me included, occasionally).

However it is part of the game, so initially build up a profile on at least one of these, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, TikTok, or any other platform you know of.

Graphic of an Influencer on social media, used in the article, Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. 7 Things you Must Know for Success
Influencer on Social Media.

Some social media platforms are better than others, I don’t bother much with the book of faces for example.

I am in a few book of faces groups but not very active. Unless you join one in your niche that allows you to post your article say once a week, then you are relying on people to check your profile to see your articles and links.

You will get some traffic but nowhere as much if you have your images or content on Pinterest or Linkedin.

Others may disagree, and you may already have a social profile that you’re happy to keep and build out further.

If you want to create profiles on all of them, they don’t have to be all done at once. Once you have them set up allocate about an hour a week to them.

Some people find spreading the time on each over a week (about 20 minutes on one or two a day), works for them.

Your profile can be either based on you or a profile you create. You share your images, thoughts, videos, and chats, and every now and then, include your affiliate links.

It is best to not just comment, for the sake of adding an affiliate link. Remember why you are there.

Join groups relevant to your niche and engage without being spammy. Some people using Twitter, have a ratio of 5-1 (5 posts to 1 affiliate link). This seems to work well.


Forums are (INMHO), better than social media for getting your message out there.

Whereas social media is a 30second “sound” bite, Forums are generally more engaging, your post or comment is visible for longer, and there is generally a larger audience in a forum group than in say, a book of faces group.

You are already online, so you probably have heard of Reddit, Quora, Stack Overflow, WordPress, Fitday, Gamespot, etc.

Whatever your niche there is likely a forum for it.

Reddit is by far the most popular. Often called the front page of the internet, it should be one place for affiliate marketers to get to know it well and understand how it works.

Blogging Strategies

If you have read this far you might be seriously thinking of becoming an affiliate marketer. I haven’t sugar-coated anything, to be successful there is some thought and effort needed.

Simply starting a website and expecting bucketloads of money to immediately fall into your lap isn’t going to happen.

The initial strategy is as I have written about above.

If you are a beginner affiliate marketer, the following sequence will get started on the right track.

  • Think carefully about a niche
  • Choose a domain name, it can be relevant to your niche, but it does not have to be
  • Get a good understanding of WordPress, or whatever website-building platform you are using.
  • Get about us, and the government-required privacy pages done.
  • Get some understanding of Search Engine Optimization and keyword research
  • Get 30 pages of 1000 (?), plus words of content done ASAP. 1,000 is an arbitrary number, enough words to get your point across, but it must be quality and relevant to your reader. I cheat and use an SEO tool that gives me the average word count of my opposition, plus headings and other SEO stuff.

If all this sounds too challenging, then it may not be for you.

If affiliate marketing were easy then everyone would be into it and making money.

However, with some dedication, the rewards can be life-changing.

I am sure you have heard the term Compound Growth. It is something small that you start today, that will grow quickly when you continue to put in the required effort over a period of time.

Affiliate marketing is one such business that should be looked at over longer time frames, where each new piece of content builds on the last.

Instead of looking at what you want to achieve in a 3-month time frame, look at what goals you want to achieve over 5 years.

This is more realistic and almost guarantees success.

Nothing Worthwhile ever happens quickly and easily. You achieve only as you are determined to achieve… and you keep at it until you have achieved.

Robert H. Lauer.

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It

So as an example, let’s say your niche was travel photography.

You’d learn through the links I have below how to build a niche website around travel photography.

How to create content that lands at the top of google search results, so that when your target audience is asking questions about the niche, your content is coming up as the answer.

You could do reviews on the latest DSLR cameras, for example, and earn commissions every time your audience went through your website to trusted merchants like Amazon or Best Buy, etc. to make their purchase.

That’s affiliate marketing 101.

When you break it down, there are really four main “pillars” that go into creating a successful affiliate business: setting your goals, developing the right mindset, taking massive action, and optimizing your business for success.

If you take action, you can take your site from earning a few extra bucks each month to a full-blown income-generating powerhouse.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me or join my newsletter list.


3 thoughts on “Is Affiliate Marketing Dead. The 7 Most Neglected Hacks Affiliates fail at.”

  1. Hi Michael,
    Thanks for a greater expansion and in-depth guidance on affiliate marketing. It can be very overwhelming for newbies online to wade through what works and where not to waste time. I found your sections on Social Media, Forums and Blogging Strategies very helpful and suggestions worth following up because this is where many affiliate markers would benefit from some assistance.

    Finally setting expectations with the quote by Rober Lauer that ” Nothing Worthwhile ever happens quickly and easily. You achieve only as you are determined to achieve… and you keep at it until you have achieved” sums it all up. Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick-scheme.

  2. Hi,
    Email is a different animal, and without going into to great detail. Step one is to make the title interesting enough that it gets opened. Step two would be keep it short and to the point about 300 words max.
    Step three would be to engage with the reader and tickle his greed gland.

  3. Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your great overview of affiliate marketing. This really does describe all the key steps involved and helps set realistic expectations. As a fellow affiliate marketer, I would add that on expectations. Affiliate marketing or building an business – online or offline does take time and effort. So this is like “delayed gratification” meaning unlike a job where you get paid that week/month for putting in X hours you will get Y dollars. Affiliate marketing requires the content and effort first to get the traffic and then the income follows – but that organic traffic and income can be residual or continuing unlike the job where you get paid once.

    I liked all your strategies or hacks. What are your main email marketing tips to help build your affiliate income?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top